931 Items

 (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

(AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Analysis & Opinions - Agence Global

Why We Should Worry About the Arab Region

| Feb. 10, 2019

BEIRUT — A great menace hovers over the Arab region and its people, and has started to nibble away at their societies and countries. Our region now is made up mostly of poor and vulnerable families, and it is corroding and fragmenting from within. Unlike the popular media images abroad of vast Arab wealth, the reality is the exact opposite. The Arab region is fracturing and disaggregating into a small group of wealthy people, a shrinking middle class, and masses of poor, vulnerable, and marginalized people who now account for 2/3 of all Arabs. Some 250 million people, out of a total Arab population of 400 million, are poor, vulnerable, and marginalized, according to important new research by Arab and international organizations.

Analysis & Opinions

Tarek Masoud - The Shifting Politics of the Middle East | Snack Break with Aroop Mukharji

| Feb. 09, 2019

Host Aroop Mukharji interviews Dr. Tarek Masoud, the Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School, about the shifting political dynamics of the Middle East, the region's potential for democratization, and a triple snack of doughnuts, coffee, and Turkish delight.

(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Lebanon Finally Has a New Government. Here are Three Reasons for Cautious Optimism.

| Jan. 31, 2019

After a nine-month deadlock marked by political bickering, a struggling economy and massive growing public debt, Lebanon’s political elite finally agreed Thursday on the formation of a new government. The compromise among Lebanon’s sectarian political factions will certainly inject some much-needed social normalcy and stability, and the new government will historically include four women ministers, among them Raya al-Hassan, leading the influential Ministry of Interior.

(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Analysis & Opinions - Agence Global

Understanding Syria Today is Not Baseball…or Is It?

| Dec. 21, 2018

BOSTON — The announced abrupt U.S. withdrawal from Syria has sparked widespread speculation about what we might expect next, with most U.S.-based analysts emphasizing the “who wins and who loses” approach to their conclusions. This is understandable in a society whose foreign policy is heavily mercantile, self-centered, militaristic, and absolutist in its strategies and tactics, but it misleads the public that listens to such narrow views.

Mosaic 2018 Cover

Andrew Facini

- Middle East Initiative, Belfer Center

Middle East Initiative Mosaic 2017-2018

| December 20, 2018

The 2017-2018 issue of the Middle East Initiative Mosaic newsletter highlights MEI programs and activities during the academic year. This year's issue features the innovative and exciting work of students, fellows, faculty, and staff on public policy issues in the Middle East, including a focus on the community of scholars at MEI and stories on our faculty research program, alumni connections, students' experiences, and more!

(AP Photo/ Gabriel Chaim)

(AP Photo/ Gabriel Chaim)

Analysis & Opinions - Agence Global

Many Ugly Lessons from the U.S. Departure from Syria

| Dec. 19, 2018

NEW YORK — The United States’ announcement that its troops will leave Syria as soon as possible marks one more important stage in the recent evolution of strategic and diplomatic moves across the Middle East — anchored in Syria, of course, as many such moves have been for most of the past century, and much of the last four millennia before that. This episode is worth pondering by those who wonder why and how things happen in the Middle East, and how foreign powers should interact with our societies, countries, and political power centers.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Analysis & Opinions - Agence Global

A tripartite Middle East destruction machine starts to fade

| Dec. 14, 2018

BOSTON — This is a historic moment in relations between the United States and the Middle East, because we may be witnessing the beginning of the decline of that combination of forces that has been at once the most destructive and the most powerful in our modern history. I am speaking about the U.S.-Israel-Saudi Arabia close relationship that reached its apex, and saw its Israeli-Saudi Arabian dimension emerge into the public, in the past two years of the Donald Trump administration.

(AP Photo/File)

(AP Photo/File)

Journal Article - Perspectives on Politics

Syria, Productive Antinomy, and the Study of Civil War

| December 2018

Review Essay: Civil War in Syria: Mobilization and Competing Social Orders. By Adam Baczko, Gilles Dorronsoro, and Arthur Quesnay. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 336p. $84.99 cloth, $27.99 paper.

The horrors of the ongoing Syrian civil war have never been far from the front pages of the news. Social scientists who wish to study it soon confront the awkward reality that the war’s ferocity precludes field research on its central military and political dynamics. Scholars have made important advances in studying mechanisms behind protest activity and the mobilization of armed opposition to the al-Assad regime, but much work is confined to studying the conflict through the lens of refugees. Adam Baczko, Gilles Dorronsoro, and Arthur Quesnay’s research is all the more indispensable for that context. Scholars of civil war and of autocracies, researchers investigating the 2011 Arab uprisings, and Syria specialists all will find value in their book’s rich pairing of theoretically-driven analysis and empirical material gathered through field research in Syria. 

News

Event Podcast: "The Journalistic Craft and Legacy of Anthony Shadid: The Triumph of Human Understanding in a Polarized, Digital Age"

Nov. 29, 2018

A seminar with Rami Khouri, MEI Senior Fellow; Senior Public Policy Fellow, Issam Fares Institute, American University of Beirut; and Visiting Adjunct Professor of Journalism and Journalist-in-Residence at AUB.

Co-sponsored by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.